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Picture 10017042, illustration by Warwick Goble, 1909, image copyright Mary Evans

by Kate Ashton


Glistening sky-smitten sea

curtseying supplicant to He

who gave us land to walk on –


we walked we walked so far

and long that we forgot

her siren song – how she


had carved us from salt light

and might reclaim her selkie one –

the land the land we walk upon


it shudders and lets go

each footprint in the sand as

we return to rock and foam.



© Kate Ashton

Picture 10017042, illustration by Warwick Goble, 1909, image copyright Mary Evans



Kate Ashton was born in Beith and trained as a nurse at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the late sixties. Her writing career began in London as a news reporter and later features editor on Nursing Times in the seventies, and she went on to write hospital-based fiction published all over the world. She lived in the Netherlands for nearly 25 years, working as a freelance editor and writing non-fiction books. She returned to live in the Highlands in 2003 and has since written several works of narrative non-fiction, as well as translating from Dutch and Frisian. Her poems and reviews have appeared in UK magazines and webzines including THE SHOp, Envoi, Glasgow Review of Books, Agenda, Shearsman, Shadowtrain, Causeway, Molly Bloom, and Long Poem Magazine. A pamphlet, The Concourse of Virgins, was published by Lapwing in 2012, and her first full collection, Who by Water, came out from Shearsman Books in 2016. She has recently completed a second collection.


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